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ZJU Global Series (95) - Challenges of Sustainability in Food, Energy and Environment Nexus

Date:2018-05-30 | Visitcount:27

On May 29th, Dr. Vijaya G.S. Raghavan, President of the Academy of Science in the Royal Society of Canada, attended the 95th ZJU Global Lecture Series and delivered a brilliant lecture themed “Challenges of Sustainability in Food, Energy and Environment Nexus" in Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University. More than 150 ZJU students attended the lecture.

Dr. Raghavan is a James McGill Professor in the Bioresource Engineering Department of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University, Canada. He has made outstanding contributions in the fields of food storage, food processing and bioprocessing technologies using electro-technologies. Since this year, Dr. Raghavan has been serving as President of the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada.

In the lecture, Dr. Raghavan pointed out that post-harvest losses due to damage, poor storage conditions, rot, pests, and vermin account for 27 to 40% of total global food production. Minimizing post-harvest losses is thus important to ensure food security, the access to safe, nutritious, and affordable food, for a world population that is currently over 7.4 billion. And somehow, this must be achieved in a sustainable manner within the context of climate change, loss of biodiversity, increased demand for fuel, and the projected increase of the global population to 9 billion by 2040.

Dr. Raghavan then explained the food safety technologies in heat processing and non-heat processing respectively by taking microwave heating for egg disinfection and high voltage pulsed electric field sterilization as examples. Dr. Raghavan pointed out that these electro-technologies have also been used in bioprocesses for the valorization of waste biomass from the agricultural, food, and forestry sectors. Methods using electro-technologies have less environmental impact and sustainability, which is the key in food, energy and environment nexus.

After the lecture, Raghavan had an in-depth communication and interaction with students regarding questions on the application of nanotechnology in biological processing and the loss in food processing. He encouraged young students to keep curious about the world’s most-advanced knowledge and stressed that the use of knowledge to serve human society should be the common goal of all.

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